FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I apply?
You need to fill in the on-line application form, following the instructions. When the application deadline has passed, your application will be considered should we have space available. A late fee of 100 EUR will be charged.
Where I will be staying?
Participants live at Santa Chiara, a large 17th century former convent with modernized rooms for students (2-3-4 per room). Students receive 3 meals daily, except on free days (Saturdays and Sundays). Due to the limited number of spaces in Santa Chiara, those who are accepted after our limit of 80 will be asked to organize their own accommodations elsewhere. We provide contacts for hotel and B&Bs in Casalmaggiore.
Can I choose my roommates?
We will try to comply with all requests. Rooms will be assigned in June.
When should I arrive in Casalmaggiore?
The orientation meeting is at 9:30 AM (Central Europe Time) on Monday July 4th, 2016. You should ideally arrive in Casalmaggiore on Sunday July 3rd. Due to the different time zones, those who fly from North America must remember that they have to depart the day before their arrival in Italy.
Will I have the opportunity to perform in public?
Student concerts take place every afternoon and evening. Performers are chosen on the strength of their audition recording. Effort is made to give everyone an opportunity to perform, if possible. Students preparing international competitions are given priority. All public performances must be approved by the teacher.
What happens on “free days”?
Due to the growing body of students and our wish to provide students with as many musical experiences as possible, there are concerts also on weekends. Lessons are optional and can be discussed with professors individually. Students are allowed to leave the campus to visit nearby cities and tourist attractions if they are not scheduled to perform in the weekend events. The most popular cities are Parma, Cremona, Mantua, Florence, Pisa, Milan, Venice, Verona, and Rome. All these places and others can be reached by train or bus. The Festival plans to arrange guided visits to the cities of Cremona and Sabbioneta.
Is internet connection available?
In Santa Chiara there is wireless connection available! The username and password will be available to you upon check in.
Where will we eat?
All accepted students are provided with vouchers, unless otherwise agreed upon, to be used either at one of the selected restaurants in town. Real italian food! This year, students will also have the option of using their vouchers at the Chinese Xinhua Restaurant. Unused vouchers will be accepted on weekends at the restaurants.
Can I stay longer in Casalmaggiore?
Students arriving earlier or departing later can stay at the Santa Chiara residence against a fee per night of 25 EUR.
Can I leave my stuff in Casalmaggiore for some days before or after the Festival?
You can, please contact the Italian office.
Is scholarship assistance available?
There will be no financial aid offered. However, a number of scholarships will be awarded based upon the quality of talent, as exhibited on the application recordings.
Will I have the opportunity to study chamber music?
Every student who elects to do chamber music will be assigned a group and repertoire. Everyone will be asked to submit chamber music repertoire requests. Groups will be formed on the basis of the audition recordings and the repertoire requested. Everyone will be advised of their assignments and is expected to arrive in Casalmaggiore with their parts learned and ready for rehearsing on the first day. Students are responsible for supplying their parts and scores. Music is not available in Casalmaggiore. Pre-formed chamber groups are encouraged to apply to the Casalmaggiore Chamber Music Institute.
How many lessons do I get?
Each student will receive a minimum of two hours weekly.
Are pianos available for practicing?
We rent grand pianos for the concert halls and teaching studios plus uprights for student practicing and rehearsals. We estimate that every pianist can have at least three hours on a piano every day. In addition, the great Fazioli Grand in the opera house is available for practicing and concerts.
Are collaborative pianists available for rehearsals, lessons and performances?
We have several professional pianists and numerous fine student pianists. There is usually ample time to prepare lessons and concerts to a high level.
Are practice facilities available for the string players and singers?
The City of Casalmaggiore provides students with numerous classrooms which are used as practice studios. The singers may schedule the use of studios with pianos. In addition, the string players may use their dormitory rooms.
What about music stands?
Everybody must bring their own.
What do we do if there are problems with the instruments?
Students can ask a talented violin maker in Casalmaggiore. Also, Casalmaggiore is only 1/2 hour from Cremona where there are numerous other violin and repair shops. Transportation is available.
How many students attend the Festival?
About 80 students will be selected.
Is there an age limit?
There is no age limit. However we do require that students under the age of 15 should be accompanied by an adult, as we do not provide supervision.
Which airport should I fly to?
The nearest airport is Parma (PMF), just 25 km from Casalmaggiore, which is connected with London Stansted (STN) and Rome Fiumicino (FCO). Another near international airport is Bologna (BLQ), which is connected to the main European hubs. Three other airports you can use are: Milan Malpensa (MPX), Milan Linate (LIN) and Bergamo/Orio al Serio (BGY). Go here for further details.
What if I need a letter of invitation for my visa?
Students who need a letter of invitation to apply for a visa at the Italian embassy in their country should ask the Italian office of the Festival who will mail or fax it. Please allow enough time to apply for a visa.
What clothes should I bring?
Casalmaggiore can be very hot in July, so you should bring light summer clothes for the daytime. For evening concerts, light dress clothes are required, no shorts or jeans. Performers: women wear long dresses, men black pants and white shirts.
Should I bring my own bed sheets, pillows and towels?
No, you should not. Sheets and towels are changed twice a week.
What about mosquitos?
Casalmaggiore is located in a humid area and there are mosquitos, especially at night. We suggest people with sensitive skin to bring a repellent and medication against bites.
Is there a laundry facility?
There are two washing machines at the Santa Chiara residence that students can use free of charge.
Can I withdraw money in Casalmaggiore?
In Casalmaggiore there are many bank offices with ATM machines, which accept all major cards.
Can I stay with family or friends?
The Santa Chiara residence is always full during the Festival and it is not possible to house any family or friends of students. Please note also that accommodation options in Casalmaggiore are limited. We have listed a number of accommodations on our home page.